Posts tagged ‘Toxic Relationships’

July 30, 2008

My affair threatens suicide when I try to leave…

by Rod Smith

“I have been in a 5-year very toxic relationship with a married man. Every time I have tried to end it he goes to the extreme to make sure I don’t. He has told friends and customers about his affair with me and that he is in love with me. I have even considered moving out of town to get away from him. He is very controlling and has even threatened to kill himself if I leave him. Please help.”

Every threat of suicide must be taken very seriously. As the “other woman,” even if you were a mental health professional specializing in suicide prevention, you would be unqualified to sustain his life. Get out of the man’s way so he can get the help he needs!

He doesn’t love you. Love doesn’t threaten, control, or manipulate.

I trust you see you are “killing yourself” by staying. I’d suggest you move, that you do cut all ties, and that you do find your freedom at all cost. You cannot be a lifeline for any man, let alone one who demonstrates no respect for his family or for you.

Suicide, by very definition, is self-inflicted, and therefore his killing himself, which would indeed be very sad, would not be your responsibility, or your fault.

June 19, 2008

Is your relationship abusive?

by Rod Smith

None of the conditions has to be ever-present to count. Even abusive relationships are sometimes trauma and pain-free. Believing the “good times” excuses the “bad times” is an error.  The presence of ONE of the following means you could benefit from immediate help.

1.    Are you secretive about your relationship so no one really knows what you are enduring?
2.    Do you feel as if you have no room to move? You do not want to get any closer but you have no idea how to get out.
3.    Are you afraid? Your life is unpredictable, oscillating between extremes.
4.    Are you hiding, avoiding friends and family? It feels as if this person has control of your life and destiny.
5.    Do you feel that love hardly resembles love, trust does not feel like trust, and truth is not truth? You’ve lost your relationship compass.
6.    Are you subjected to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional activity you do not want?
7.    He/She says he/she loves you yet restricts you from talking to others.
8.    He/she hides or steals your car or house keys, takes or withholds money, refuses to let you use the telephone, or reads your mail without your permission?

February 19, 2008

What can a person do who is the victim of the behavior you wrote about two days ago…?

by Rod Smith

Many would agree with your suggestion that relationships fraught with the symptoms listed in your article (Feb 17) need of renewal. Could you advise what options for renewal are available to a “recipient” of the symptoms described?

When relationships suffer the source is seldom only one partner. It takes two to tangle! (No, I do not mean “tango.”)

The points read “both ways” – there are usually two “perpetrators,” two “victims” – both words are too strong in moderately problematic relationships – and so both persons have “renewal work” to do.

Here’s a start: Stand up. Speak up. Remove guesswork. Stop mind reading. Refuse participation in what you know is destructive. Behave in healthy, unexpected ways. Stay out of control!

If there are proverbial eggshells: dance on them. If something is niggling: find a time to address it. Remember the only things that disappear if you ignore them are you teeth: all the rest stays or goes into hiding and waits to attack you at a later date.

Full (complete, healthy, invigorated, vocal) people are easier to love than vacated shells! Work on yourself. Identify how you allowed yourself to be disrespected.

The fire that returns will either re-ignite your relationship, or destroy it. Both options, I believe, surpass the quiet, destructive virus of relational indifference.

February 18, 2008

He makes fun of me and minimizes our relationship…

by Rod Smith

“I’ve been with my partner for 8 years. When we’re fighting he phones old girlfriends, won’t answer his phone, is extremely verbally abusive, and minimizes our relationship (because we’re not married). He mocks and makes fun of me if I cry. He has destroyed my belongings and stays out all night. He calls a woman behind my back, and faults me for not trusting him. He stayed at her house on one of his ‘all-nighters’ (I found him there). He calls me controlling and says he won’t be told who he can speak to.” (Very minimal edits)

Here we go again! You are an expert in HIS behavior, yet seem blind to yours. Apparently after all this trauma, conflict, jealousy, snooping around, raised voices and humiliating behavior performed by each of you – YOU keep going back for more!

Let the man go on his immature, pathological way. Don’t hold him back. Oh, I know. I am going to get letters telling me I am blaming the victim, that moving out is not that easy, and love will prevail – but this “relationship” (actually it is nothing more than furious-fusion) will never survive. The sooner you pack your bags (or dump his out the door) the better.